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Industry criticises 4m stakeholder drive

Scottish Life head of pension strategy Steve Bee criticises the amount that the Government is spending to promote stakeholder when he says it is unsuitable for millions of people.

Bee says it is crucial to get the public to save more but claims it is foolish to pretend that pouring money into this sort of venture will improve provision among those with low incomes.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says the move will not make enough of a difference to justify the expense.

McPhail says the 1988 advertising campaign to persuade people to contract out of Serps had some impact because it had the industry’s support. However, this is not the case with stakeholder products.

The campaign, run under the title Stakeholder Saving – It All Adds Up, was launched at an event attended by Treasury Economic Secretary Ivan Lewis, pensions minister Stephen Timms and stakeholder architect Ron Sandler.

The promotion starts this week and will involve televis- ion adverts, a guide to stake- holder products and a Government website.

Lewis says: “With all the products now in place across a range of providers and with autumn usually a busy time for financial investment, it makes sense to inform the public now of the new opportunities available to them.”

Bee says: “It is crazy for the Government to be spending this amount of money luring people into stakeholder pensions that are not suitable for millions.”

Lewis interview, p20

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